Monday, 9 November 2020
Statements by Members
Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Action Week
This week is Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Action Week. Started 15 years ago by PANDA, this week helps to raise awareness of perinatal mental health and encourages parents, healthcare providers and the community to have conversations about perinatal mental health.
While, for most people, becoming a parent is a time of incomparable joy, it is also one of the most significant life transitions anyone can experience. During pregnancy and 12 months after the birth of a child, there can be stressors, emotional upheavals and huge challenges arise in the life of parents. Sometimes these are part of the normal experiences of parenting, such as loss of sleep, but sometimes they can be more serious. The stats show us that perinatal mental illness affects one in five expecting and new mothers and one in 10 new fathers—equating to roughly 100,000 Australians experiencing a perinatal mental illness each year. It does happen. It doesn't mean you're a bad parent. And there is help available. In my electorate of Curtin, some of the providers available that can provide help are Ngala community centre in Mt Claremont, Meerilinga at West Leederville, St John of God Subiaco's Raphael Service, King Edward Memorial Hospital, and the Statewide Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Program.
Thank you, PANDA, for the work that you do to continue to raise awareness and ensure that parents can access the support they need, and thank you to all the child health nurses who helped me.